(This is only the second draft of the book Worthless. Expect typos, plot holes, odd subplots and the occassionally wrongly named character, especially minor characters. It is made public only to give people a rough idea of how the final story will look)
Fields as far as the eye could see. The old school building wasn't that far away. Mischa and I had worked with the local refugees and some of their friends to clean it, scrubbing away all the black dust. The more we removed of it, the more of the time travelers could enter without getting hurt. In the end, everybody had a chance to be part of it, and many were. The Embassy. Our very own Embassy of Time. Just a building, for now. Potential.
"I'm freezing my #*@!ing tits off, Id... Sorry, Marie," complained Mischa, slapping himself in a rather dumb-looking way to keep a little warm. "Are we even in the right place?"
"Yeah, should be," I answered, looking at my new phone. The copy had my own, sligtly less new one. It felt weird, not being me, but I was adjusting. At least, I felt that I was. "Walther said this was the spot. Should be right about now."
We were a crew of five. One trained medic, four to just help. We had stood there for about half an hour, and Mischa wasn't wrong about the temperature.
"How do they even know this shit? I mean, how do they know the time and place someone arrives?" he grumbled, looking over and waving to Mikael, the medic. Like so many others, Mikael was just someone that someone knew, a guy that had been in Nakskov for about a decade, but trained to be a medic in some future war against crazy machines. It all sounded a bit silly, but who was I to disagree.
"I think they sent someone a bit farther back to tell them. You know, send back the strong and capable to make sure the weaker ones have someone waiting for them, that kind of stuff."
"Huh," Mischa replied, mulling it over. "So, doesn't that, like, change history or something? If they send someone back to before The Embassy is created to make sure The Embassy... Christ, I got a #*@!ing headache just from saying that."
"Yeah," I mumbled back at him. "We need to figure all that out, too. Lots of stuff to be done."
He was thinking of something he wanted to say, but as he raised his finger to ask what he clearly felt was an important and very poignant question, a loud boom rushed across the fields. Everyone reacted immediately, running across the tilled soiled to the best of their abilities. Somehow, I got there first.
A boy lay on the ground. Ten, maybe eleven years old, dressed in flimsy clothes that simmered, turning the humid air to thin steam. I stepped over to check his pulse, and he immediately flinched, curling into a bal and then toppling over, somehow ending up in a sitting position.
"Who are you?" he asked with a very thick accent, his eyes darting bout, trying to take in everything. His arms fumbled their way out of the weird clothes, enough to see a nasty scar down his left arm. It looked old, not something connected to his trip.
"I'm...." The whole secret identity thing was more of a challenge than expected. "I'm Marie. I run The Embassy. What's your name?"
"Where are my parents?"
I looked over my shoulder. The others had arrived, and Mikael was already sizing up the boy, looking for any obvious injuries, at first.
"We don't know. They'll probably come along later."
The boy was slowly beginning to worry. Fact was, there was no guarantee that they would ever arrive. Some simply sent their children to have a better life, unable to also send themselves along.
"We have to wait a bit and see. But I'm sure they'd want to know you're safe. Would you like to go with us back to The Embassy?"
He nodded, silently, his eyes still darting all over the place. Finally, they calmed down a little, and he looked at me.
"I'm Daniel. My name is Daniel."
"Nice to meet you, Daniel," I told him with a genuine smile. "Welcome to The Embassy."